Public health experts are concerned about Alberta governor’s claim that the pandemic is over

In a video posted on his social media page on Sunday, Jason Kenney, a governor without a mask, shook hands with visitors to the Calgary Stampede, hugged and took pictures side by side.

The headline reads: “It was a pleasure to connect with Albertans at the first major event after the Canadian pandemic.”

The wording he chose-“After the pandemic”-worries health experts, who say it falsely implies that the coronavirus is no longer a cause for concern.

“I’m worried about the extent to which this video really brought people back to normal… The idea that this epidemic is over and disappeared, we don’t have to worry about anything being wrong. This is scientifically wrong,” Albert Said Timothy Caulfield, Chair of Canadian Health, Law and Policy Research at Tower University.

In recent weeks, COVID-19 R value in Alberta And the positive rate has risen. On Thursday, the province reported an increase in active cases for the first time since May.

Although he understands the desire to return to normal, Caulfield said he thinks there will be more such “dogmatic” political messages in the future.

“Governments all over the world are trying to win; political opponents are trying to emphasize that this is a failed idea. What will be lost… is real science, real evidence,” he said.

“This further politicizes all our efforts to fight the pandemic.”

Dr. Gabriel Fabreau, assistant professor of general internal medicine at the University of Calgary, said that he and his colleagues are holding their breath to see if there will be a surge in cases after the Calgary Stampede, the first event held in Canada since the pandemic began. Major events. The Cowboy Festival ends on Sunday.

Frankly speaking, I just don’t know how much we can afford.-Dr. Gabriel Fabreau

“Telling people that it’s over before it’s over may risk reducing preventive measures. People are not careful, people may receive the message that they don’t need to go for a second dose, and in this case, it’s going to make the overall , The population is likely to have more contagious mutations again,” Fabreo said.

One particular concern for Fabreau is the decline in the proportion of people in Alberta who have received at least one dose of the vaccine. On Sunday, the province received the first dose of the smallest number of vaccinations since February, when vaccine supplies were scarce.

“Alberta and Saskatchewan have the lowest vaccination rates in the country. And we know that delta variants have already dominated Calgary,” Fabreau said.

“The Netherlands, the United Kingdom, or Israel, they all have [reopened] And there is similar information… and then the U-shaped case curve, showing a surge in cases among young people, and then the restriction has to be re-imposed. “

Reasons for caution from other countries

When the Netherlands reopened in June, COVID-19 cases were at the lowest level, and the vaccination rate was comparable to Alberta. In early July, the number of infections soared by 500% within a week; most cases occurred in young people and were highly contagious delta variants.

According to reports, after an outdoor concert in a music venue, more than one-twentieth of the participants (ie 1,000 people) tested positive Local average. This concert, like Stampede’s Nashville North concert tent, requires visitors to present a vaccination certificate or a negative test to enter.

A map shows the percentage of people who have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in each province as of July 10, 2021. (Government of Canada)

Fabreau said his biggest concern is the mental health and well-being of his healthcare colleagues.

“If we see the fourth wave, I’m just—I can’t imagine that this will adversely affect our people and our healthcare system. And, frankly, I just don’t know how much we can accept more,” He says.

Caulfield said it’s great to celebrate the victory, just like Canada’s overall success in vaccination work compared to many parts of the world.

“But I think the message delivery should leave a lot of uncertain possibilities,” he said.

“What I want to see is to combine this positive information with what we need to do in the future. So,’Aren’t we in a great position now, Alberta? Let’s do it better, let’s We make sure that all of us are vaccinated.'”

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